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The City of Red Deer is changing its ice and snow removal policies

More details to be made public next week
The City of Red Deer will be changing its ice and snow practises, with more details to be provided next week. (Advocate file photo).

After last winter’s freeze-thaw cycle left deep icy ruts on many local roadways, the City of Red Deer is changing its snow removal and ice management policy.

A release stated the city will be sharing more details with the public next week.

In June, city council adopted the Integrated and Accessible Transportation Policy, which resulted in changes to the 2023-24 Snow and Ice Program. But few specifics were provided last summer about this pilot program, leading Coun. Kraymer Barnstable to say council is being asked to trust staff to come up with a better procedure by next winter.

“I trust you,” Barnstable added, but he also noted that if the public is not happy, councillors will be the first to hear.

In June, councillors were informed administrators will be revisiting how windrows are done, and also looking at whether wide-scale parking bans can be imposed on green-route streets.

This pilot program is being tried after last winter’s abrupt temperature changes left many deep ruts and ice on streets — specially in residential areas. Greg Sikora, Manager of Parks and Public Works, told council in June that the past winter was highly unusual as there were 87 freeze-thaw days and 55 per cent of days went above zero degrees.

Clearing the mess these temperature fluctuations created, while maintaining Red Deer’s 900 km of roads and 143 km of trails wasn’t an easy job, he suggested, so new methods will be trialed this winter.

A major shift that was enacted in June was council’s approval of a “mobility hierarchy” which stipulates on-street parking will be restored only once vehicular mobility is realized. This could come in the form of city-wide residential parking bans as Sikora had noted that cars left in the streets are the single biggest obstacle to clearing roads properly.

He told council the revised policy “means we can be more responsive to our snow and ice operations, shifting to be faster, more proactive and flexible that means citizens will see mobility restored sooner following snow and other extreme weather events.”

City roads officials have been monitoring the weather forecasts and road conditions and are prepared to provide traction control and restore mobility throughout the city.

If citizens see an area needing attention, they can report it through or by calling 403-342-8238.

Lana Michelin

About the Author: Lana Michelin

Lana Michelin has been a reporter for the Red Deer Advocate since moving to the city in 1991.
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